One time when I was hanging out with my 12 year-old best friends (if that seems odd to you, I can explain everything here), one of the girls was telling me a story about another girl at school that day. The girl she was talking about was (apparently) someone she considered to be annoying, and needed to be put in her place. My little friend decided she was the girl for the job, so she told her something or other, and as she was recounting the events to me, she finished by saying, “She just needs to learn her lesson!”
Just a couple weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend who was concerned about her sister’s behavior and she said to me, “I told her, she just needs to _____!” (It doesn’t even matter what came next.
And the other day, I found myself saying to my friend on the phone (unsolicitedly, I might add), “You should just stop letting it control you.”
Isn’t it funny how we know exactly what other people should and need to do? And that we’ve decided we are the people that must teach them the lessons they need to learn? How selfless of us, how wise.
I’m reminded of a quote by Byron Katie, the author of a great book called “Loving What Is,” (which I could reference over a thousand times and still not have referenced enough) which says this:
When I hear people saying things like “you need to, “she should,” “I told her…” and when I catch myself saying these things, I cringe.
Mind your own business.
Byron Katie said it, the book of Matthew in the bible said it (chapter 7, verse 5), and there’s a proverb about throwing stones in glass houses that covers the same issue: mind yours.
Finally, a lyric comes to mind that seemingly has nothing to do with this, but everything to do with it at the same time: “Maybe if we loved ourselves, it wouldn’t be so hard to love each other.”
Instead of concerning yourself with what other people should or need to be doing, have the courage to look in the mirror and ask those questions to the person looking back.
P.S. - No podcast episode this week ;( There are officially TEN episodes available to listen to now, though, so head over and check those out until I get more up!